Mobility and social media

Mobile Application or Mobile Website: How to Decide?

Have you counted the number of applications (or “apps”) that you have downloaded onto your cellphone? The answer is probably in the 100 range, without including the number of updates that you are asked to install each week!

What should your business choose to offer: a mobile app or a mobile website?

Depending on the use that you wish to make of it, both of these solutions are worth considering. Let’s take a look at the differences between the two.

In the case of mobile apps, these are defined as software applications that are downloaded onto a mobile device, whereas mobile websites are Internet sites that are tailored to the formats of smartphones and tablets.

How long will mobile app remain on our devices before we decide to remove them? This is up for debate. Mobile websites, however, are at all times available to users.

Over time, the support and maintenance of a mobile app could require more effort compared to a website.

Mobile app updates must be downloaded by users, thereby reducing the available space on their devices, whereas web updates are less cumbersome both for users and for businesses.

Is it thus worth considering the abandonment of mobile apps?

By 2019, it is predicted that 20% of brands will abandon their mobile apps (Pemberton, 2017). Indeed, it is becoming increasingly difficult to entice users to download an app, as they have the luxury of choosing whether or not to do so.

This shows that the number of app downloads has plateaued due to user fatigue for downloading and using the apps that are available. It is accordingly difficult for businesses to maintain interest among users for their mobile apps (Leow, Baker, Marshall, Revang and Wong, 2016).

By 2022, it is predicted that 70% of software interactions will be completed on a mobile platform, but if the trend continues, apps will only be one element in the chain of interactions between users and their devices rather than being at the centre of these interactions. For example, virtual personal assistants such as Siri, Cortana and Google Now will become increasingly present in such interactions and will thus leave less room for the apps themselves (Leow et al., 2016).

You must be wondering: what are the recovery prospects for developers and promoters of apps?

Here are a few proposed solutions.

One suggestion is to put emphasis on the development of ultra-personalized user experiences. This means developing sophisticated apps that use cloud computing services as well as device functionalities to manage data to make predictions for user needs in real time and to offer a unique, personalized and dynamic experience (Leow at al., 2016).

In the case of a mobile app for a retail business, rather than sending the same notification to all users for a 30% rebate, the notification could be sent to one client in particular according to his or her needs, determined according to his or her online activity and profile saved in the customer relationship management (CRM) records of the business.

For example, according to the cumulative historical data on a user based on his or her past use, it is a lunchtime that this client is most likely to consult his or her mobile device. It is accordingly at this time that the customer receives a limited-time offer of 50% savings available at his or her favourite swimwear retailer, meanwhile a local heat wave is predicted for the following week!

It is anticipated that by 2021, 50% of all apps will generate personalized events according to user interest, thereby rendering mobile applications more efficient (Leow et al., 2016).

Brands who design such apps will thus have a better chance of success.

Published on 11.04.2018